Summary: Being faithful in sharing the good news requires the right perspective, right passion and right presentation.
A. I want to begin by using an illustration from Israel’s history as a backdrop for our lesson today.
1. The story is covered in 2 Kings chapters 6 and 7.
2. Sometime around 850 B.C., Joram was king of Israel, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and laid siege to Samaria.
a. There was a great famine in the city and it lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for 80 shekels of silver. (This was a very high price for one of the least desirable parts of the donkey.
b. Things got so bad in the sieged city that people were turning to cannibalism.
c. The king was so upset when he heard about the cannibalism that he tore his robe, and pledged to have Elisha the prophet killed that very day. For the king considered Elisha in some way responsible for the conditions in the city.
3. When the king sent a messenger to apprehend Elisha, the prophet gave the messenger a message for the king from the Lord, “About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel.”
a. In other words, the prices are going to return to normal, which must mean that the siege will end.
4. Now there were 4 men with leprosy who sat at the entrance to the city.
a. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’ – the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
b. So, at dusk the four lepers got up and went to the camp of the Arameans.
c. When they arrived they found the camp deserted.
d. Little did they know, but the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, and so they abandoned their tents and horses and donkeys.
e. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
5. The four lepers entered the camp and ate and drank and began carrying the silver, gold and clothes to a hiding place.
6. After doing this for a while, they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves…let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.
7. So, they awoke the king and told him that the enemy was a threat no more, and that the city had been saved.
8. Just imagine how happy the people of Samaria must have been when they heard the good news!
B. Today we are going to talk about being faithful in sharing the good news.
1. We cannot be considered faithful before our God without being faithful in this aspect of discipleship.
2. How wrong it would be for us “lepers” with the death sentence of sin, to find salvation and keep it only for ourselves!
3. Like the lepers in this story, we must recognize that we have good news that must be shared with others.
4. With the rest of our sermon time, let’s talk about having the right perspective, the right passion, and the right presentation.
I. The Right Perspective
A. Billy Graham once said, “The evangelistic harvest is always urgent. The destiny of men and of nations is always being decided. Every generation is strategic. We are not responsible for the past generation, and we cannot bear the full responsibility for the next one; but we do have our generation. God will hold us responsible as to how well we fulfill our responsibilities to this age.”
1. Jesus said it this way, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Mt. 9:37)
B. We have the wrong perspective when we are thinking that the harvest is not plentiful, when we are thinking that no one is interested in spiritual things.
1. There are always people who are searching for God, and our God is always drawing people to Him.
2. Now it is true that those who are searching today, may be searching for God in less traditional ways, but they are searching nonetheless.
C. The need certainly could not be greater.
1. There are more and more people inhabiting this earth.
2. By percentage, fewer are turning to Jesus for their spiritual needs.
D. So, if we are going to have the right perspective that will lead to faithfulness in sharing the good news, then we need to be thinking these kinds of things.